Timeline

The BETA Timeline

An idea, a simple watercolor, and a passion for our planet brought BETA to fruition. Today, a pragmatic team is set on transforming aviation.

2017

Black and white illustration of Martine and Kyle

Kyle Clark

Kyle Clark is an aerospace engineer, pilot, and the founder and CEO of BETA Technologies. Prior to founding BETA, Kyle co-founded Venture.co and was Director of Engineering at Dynapower, where he and his team of programmers, engineers, and technicians developed a full line of inverters, pulse modulators, and control systems. His first start-up was Itherm Technologies where he served as a founding partner and Vice President of Engineering. Before becoming an entrepreneur, Kyle played right wing for the NHL’s Washington Capitals organization. He is a Certified Flight Instructor as well as a licensed commercial airplane and helicopter pilot. Kyle holds a degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Harvard University, where he studied flight dynamics and control algorithms.

Martine Rothblatt

Martine A. Rothblatt, Ph.D., J.D., M.B.A., founded United Therapeutics in 1996 and has served as Chairman and Chief Executive Officer since its inception. Previously, she created the Sirius satellite radio company. She is a co‑inventor on six patents pertaining to treprostinil, and the inventor of a recently-awarded patent on a brain-computer interface device for patients with debilitating cognitive conditions. In 2014, Dr. Rothblatt was appointed to the Committee of Science, Technology and Law of the National Research Council. Dr. Rothblatt graduated from UCLA with a combined law and MBA degree in 1981 and received her Ph.D. in Medical Ethics in 2001 from the University of London. She is a helicopter and fixed-wing pilot.

Martine Rothblatt and Kyle Clark meet to discuss a plan to elicit critical thinking in electric aviation

Early BETA aircraft sketch

The BETA team begins development of it’s first eVTOL: AVA-XC

AVA is a 4000lb eVTOL aircraft developed in partnership with United Therapeutics.

BETA moves into its first space at Heritage Aviation

Meet AVA

Designed, built, tested, and flown within 10 months by a handful of engineers, AVA was BETA’s first full-scale proof of concept aircraft. AVA set a record for the heaviest eVTOL aircraft in the world to take flight. This design showed that electric aviation is possible - setting a foundation for the company to build on with future designs.
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BETA’s flight training program begins

BETA offers every team member the opportunity to get a pilot’s license. Flight school connects employees to the mission, giving them a common language, a deep understanding for what they are designing, and an important empathy for future operators. Currently, the program has a large team of flight instructors and a fleet of training aircraft — allowing for training opportunities from the Private Pilot’s license all the way up to an ATP.

2018

Stylized BTV Airport Diagram

BETA moves into its research and development facility

BETA’s founders were told in high school that, in order to get good jobs, they would need to leave the state. Kyle and Katie Clark - who both grew up in Essex, VT - are dedicated to creating opportunities here at home.
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BETA’s electric aircraft, AVA, starts free hover testing

Flight test operations move to Plattsburgh,
New York

The Plattsburgh International Airport (PBG) is a 15 minute flight from BETA’s R&D facility in Burlington — an ideal location for the company’s flight test headquarters. A decommissioned Air Force base that once housed B-52 bombers, PBG provides ample hangar space, more than three miles of runway, and a supportive community - making it an ideal location for our flight test center.
An animation of an arctic tern morphing into ALIA

Ava's teachings inform ALIA

Throughout the AVA program, the BETA team captured learnings about what would ultimately make electric aviation certifiable and commercially viable. This led our team to design and build a simpler, more refined aircraft: ALIA.

2019

Ava's mission is complete — BETA begins design and build of a clean sheet aircraft: ALIA

ALIA was inspired by the Arctic Tern, the farthest known migrating bird in the world. Beta’s engineers used biomimicry to inform many design choices, including ALIA’s long 50-ft wing and large, sweeping tail section.

BETA builds generation 1 electric motor

BETA has taken a strategic approach, partnering with leaders in the aerospace supply chain for critical elements of its aircraft, while internally developing the proprietary electric propulsion system that powers its aircraft.

ALIA’s Iron Bird is built, allowing engineers to test software and complete system integration

BETA installs its first prototype elevated landing pad & pilot station

A crane positions the flight deck on top of BETA’s first custom-built elevated landing pad. Built using recycled shipping containers and designed to operate off the grid, the pad is an option for customers who plan to use ALIA at off airport locations like distribution centers, office buildings, or hospitals. The pad contains modular spaces for crew rest, pilot briefings, energy storage, and more.

2020

"ThunderDome," a full-scale simulator, completed inside BETA's research and development facility

BETA’s first full-scale, enclosed-dome simulator created an invaluable tool for flight test, data collection, and pilot training. All of the company’s test pilots fly full flight profiles inside the simulator before completing the same mission in the manned, full-scale aircraft. Data from simulated flights helps to inform software development in multiple areas. BETA’s simulator runs in part on the popular home-simulation software X-Plane.

BETA's first employee on
four legs

Whiskey is a nine year old Jack Russell Terrier. He enjoys short walks on the beach and long days in the hangar. 90% of his waking hours have been on the job for moral support. He runs on three legs and loves baby carrots. He’ll be airborne in the very near future and looks forward to getting fitted for a Stearman harness in order to enjoy loops and rolls with his dad.
ALIA Tethered hover testing

ALIA SN1 begins tethered hover testing

Following the first full build of ALIA, SN1 became BETA’s second full-scale aircraft, after AVA, to begin hover testing in 2020 when it began a tethered test campaign.

The BETA Eats program is launched

BETA Eats is a lunch program aimed to provide team members with a nourishing meal, while promoting efficiency and collaboration five days a week. BETA strives to use as many locally sourced, organic foods as possible.
Helicopter lifting ALIA to Plattsburgh

ALIA is airlifted to Plattsburgh, New York

A Sikorsky S-61N operated by Quebec-based lift specialist Helicarrier was used to airlift ALIA over Lake Champlain to the Plattsburgh International Airport. The move allowed the BETA team to complete more specific flight testing leading up to the aircraft’s first full flight.
BETA Board of Directors

Kyle Clark

Lead engineer and founder. Former director of engineering at Dynapower, Applied Math degree from Harvard University. Test Pilot, CPL, eVTOL, helicopter, fixed wing.

Dr. Martine Rothblatt

Founder of Sirius XM radio and United Therapeutics. Progressive technologist and green energy advocate. Helicopter, fixed wing pilot.

Dean Kamen

Founder of DEKA research and FIRST Robotics for kids, inventor of the iBot wheelchair and numerous successful products. Helicopter, fixed wing pilot.

Chuck Davis

CEO of Stone Point Capital, Board member of Progressive Insurance.

John Abele

Founder of Boston Scientific. Author and non-linear thinker focused on making the world a better place. Pilot.

Dr. David Churchill

Mechanical Design and data integration expert. Former Boeing researcher and VP of engineering for Lord Microstrain. Private Pilot.

BETA incorporates its Board of Directors

Kyle Clark, Dr. Martine Rothblatt, Dean Kamen, Chuck Davis, John Abele, and David Churchhill form the BETA board of Directors, bringing experience and expertise to a growing business.

BETA’s subscale ALIA aircraft takes off vertically and completes a full transition flight

BETA’s subscale aircraft are an important part of the research and development process. They are piloted remotely - or autonomously - and are designed to test various systems that eventually make their way to the full size aircraft.

ALIA completes first CTOL flight

In preparation for ALIA’s first full-pattern flight, the aircraft began a series of “land-backs,” taking-off, flying, and landing on the same three-mile stretch of runway.

2021

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ALIA joins the traffic pattern

Operating out of BETA’s flight test facility at the Plattsburgh International airport, ALIA entered the traffic pattern for the first time in its maiden “up and away” flight.
ALIA with UPS Livery

UPS orders 10 ALIA-250s, reserves 140 more

ALIA will be used as a short/medium haul cargo aircraft for UPS - providing the opportunity to unlock new, point-to-point logistics networks all with zero operational emissions.
ALIA flying with Blade livery

BLADE orders 5 ALIAs, reserves 15 more

BLADE currently operates a fleet of conventional helicopters, providing urban air mobility service in New York City. The company will utilize ALIA to operate a greener, quieter service for its customers.

BETA closes Series A funding round

The company closed a $368 million series A financing round, led by Fidelity Management & Research. The round also included investment from Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund.

BETA’s first music video

COVID has been a challenge for all of us - but together, we are getting through it.

ALIA’s first airport-to-airport flight

Following approval from the FAA, ALIA flies its first airport-to-airport mission from Plattsburgh (PBG) to Burlington (BTV).

BETA opens
Ohio office

The opening of the Springfield, Ohio office brought BETA team members into the midwest, as well as one of the company's prototype landing pads and a new simulator, the "MicroDome."
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Martine Rothblatt flies ALIA

After completing extensive ground training, including both aircraft academics as well as dedicated simulator time, Martine became the first non-BETA pilot to fly ALIA. She participated in the flight as a qualified flight test engineer and necessary crew member, assisting with regular BETA flight test activities.

BETA builds “MobileDome” simulator

BETA’s MobileDome simulator is a state-of-the-art, mobile flight training and demonstration platform that mirrors the experience of flying our all-electric ALIA aircraft. The simulator was built into a 2013 Airstream Classic trailer and consists of two independent experiences: one traditional full-scale dome, and another seat that uses virtual reality goggles. BETA uses this tool for pilot training, as well as community engagement at schools, local events, and more.

BETA opens Washington,
D.C. office

Just steps from Capitol Hill, team members at BETA’s Washington, D.C. office support numerous government, certification, and defense engagements.

2022

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The U.S. Air Force flies ALIA - its first crewed flight with an Agility Prime partner

After 2+ years of partnership through the USAF’s Agility Prime program, two U.S. Air Force pilots came to Burlington, VT and after extensive training, flew ALIA in the first-ever manned flight demo with an Agility Prime partner.

BETA closes Series B funding round

BETA closed a $375 million Series B funding round led by TPG Rise Climate and returning investor Fidelity Management & Research company. The funds, which included a second investment from Amazon’s Climate Pledge Fund, helped to continue funding the company’s certification and manufacturing efforts.

BETA launches “Study Hall” technology demonstration program

Team Members from across the company fused design and first principles engineering to develop demonstrators of the core technologies BETA uses to electrify aviation.
ALIA with a load of cargo in UPS livery

ALIA’s first cross-country flight

The team took ALIA on the road for the first time. The aircraft completed a proof-of-concept flight to Manchester, NH and back to Burlington, VT.
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Pale Sky

ALIA SN2 enters extensive hover campaign

ALIA SN2 was the company’s third full-scale aircraft to hover. AVA and ALIA SN1 informed iterations on the motors, flight controllers, and test procedures used in this test campaign.

ALIA completes 2,400+ mile cross-country mission

ALIA flew through 7 states, stopping to charge on the company’s own charging infrastructure on its way to Bentonville, AR. The aircraft successfully navigated the national airspace system, real-world weather conditions, and new and unfamiliar airports. ALIA landed at several partner facilities including Amazon’s fulfillment center in Cincinnati, OH and UPS Worldport in Louisville, KY. On the final leg of the trip, ALIA flew her longest leg yet - 293 miles.
Sketch of the BETA South Burlington Manufacturing Facility

BETA breaks ground on South Burlington manufacturing facility

BETA broke ground on the first phase of its 375,000 sq. ft manufacturing facility on the south end of runway 33 at the Burlington International Airport. The facility, which will produce and assemble BETA’s all-electric aircraft, and upon completion, will be the largest net-zero facility east of the Mississippi. The full campus build out features community spaces in addition to the dedicated manufacturing floor.
Army flies ALIA

The U.S. Army flies ALIA

The U.S. Army conducted its first crewed flight of an electric aircraft by flying ALIA. The flights, similar to the company’s other qualification evaluations, were performed following pilot completion of an extensive ground training program, which included both aircraft academics as well as dedicated simulator time.

104 students fly during Young Eagles day at BETA

EAA Chapter 613 hosted a Young Eagles rally at the Burlington International Airport. EAA Young Eagles provides free flights to youth ages 8-17. This event was specific to educating and inspiring girls with an interest in aviation.

BETA launches smartphone app, new design to power charging network

In September 2022, BETA launched its smartphone app that is designed to interact with the company’s EV charging solutions, as well as its refined charge cube design for electric aircraft. Used both for ground-based EVs as well as electric aircraft charging, the app is available to anyone on the Apple and Google Play app stores.
BETA Battery validation facility

BETA expands to St. Albans to build battery
validation facility

BETA signed a lease to repurpose the old Energizer battery facility, supporting the validation of its aerospace grade battery packs.

A subscale ALIA aircraft flies fully autonomously

ALIA launches as first eVTOL aircraft in X-Plane 12

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ALIA travels 861 miles to Louisville, KY, meets U.S. Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg

BETA conducts 50-ft battery drop test

BETA partnered with the National Institute for Aviation Research (NIAR) and the FAA to conduct a 50ft drop test on a full-scale battery system designed for an electric aircraft. The BETA-designed battery pack absorbed the load with no significant damage at the cell or pack level. A successful result was achieved, demonstrating completion of our intended means of compliance for a battery system.
336nm Mission infographic

ALIA completes non-stop 336 nautical mile flight

From Jamestown, NY to Plattsburgh, NY, ALIA completed her longest non-stop, battery powered flight. At 336 nautical miles, it is believed to be the longest flight of an electric aircraft to date.

2023

Overall Wednesday

FAA test pilots conduct qualitative evaluation of ALIA

FAA test pilots and flight test engineers came to BETA to complete a qual eval of ALIA. The program included an extensive ground school class as well as time in BETA’s simulator with current test pilots, ultimately culminating in real-world flights in the company’s SN1 aircraft.

ALIA completes demo flight with BLADE
in Greater NYC area

In February, ALIA completed a demonstration flight with BETA customer BLADE at the HPN airport outside of NYC. The demonstration was preceded by another airport-to-airport flight from the company’s flight test facility in Plattsburgh, NY the day prior.

BETA and CV-TEC partner to train next generation of aerospace painters

To support the future production of electric aircraft, BETA and CV-TEC partnered to launch a pilot program to train the next generation of certified Aerospace Coating Applicator Specialists (ACAS). Four students from CV-TEC were chosen to complete the initial pilot program.
Photo of ALIA at BETA's Ohio office

BETA opens office in Montréal

An office in Montréal is opened to tap into the city’s large aerospace talent pool and support the company’s structural engineering and materials processing efforts.
ALIA Flying
Blue Sky

BETA to certify and produce all-electric, fixed wing aircraft, ALIA CX300

After flying 22,000 lifetime flight miles, completing test flights with pilots from the Army, Air Force, and FAA, as well as fielding increasing demand from customers, BETA unveiled plans to certify the CX300 - a conventional take-off and landing variant (eCTOL) of its aircraft alongside the ALIA-250 eVTOL. In addition, Bristow, United Therapeutics, and Air New Zealand placed orders for the CX300.
Kyle Clark testifying before congress

Kyle testifies in front of Congress

Alongside other key industry leaders, Kyle testified in front of the U.S. House Transportation and Infrastructure's Subcommittee on Aviation as a part of Congress' FAA Reauthorization process, discussing the promise that advanced air mobility has for the future of American aviation and what needs to happen to make it a reality.

ALIA Night Flight

Following FAA approvals for VFR capabilities, ALIA flies at night for the first time. This marks the first VFR flight for any commercially-intended electric aircraft.
Jill Biden and Miguel Cardona visiting BETA

First Lady and U.S. Secretary of Education Visit BETA

In April, First Lady Dr. Jill Biden and U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona visited BETA as a part of a four-state tour highlighting American programs to promote workforce development. Dr. Biden and Sec. Cardona were both able to hear from two BETA interns about their experience at the company, how it has shaped their education both in and out of the classroom, and how it has influenced their career trajectory.

BETA's First Supplier Summit

More than 70 supplier partners join the BETA team in Burlington for a sneak-preview of the final assembly and production facility, and an all-hands production strategy meeting.

UPS POC Flight

BETA and UPS conduct a proof of flight route together, rehearsing a potential route to assess and learn the requirements of air and ground operations when ALIA is added to the cargo liner’s fleet.

Young Eagles Rally

EAA Chapter 613 hosted a Young Eagles rally at BETA’s flight test facility in Plattsburgh, NY. The inspiring day sees more than 70 future aviators flown by EAA volunteers - most of whom had never experienced flight in a small airplane before!”
Gillibrand and Landrieu visit BETA

Hosting Political Officials at PBG

BETA hosts Sen. Gillibrand and White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu at their flight test facility in Plattsburgh, NY. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand will bring White House Infrastructure Coordinator Mitch Landrieu to Plattsburgh to visit Beta Technologies, a leading electric aerospace manufacturer. Senator Gillibrand is committed to bringing clean electric infrastructure to the North Country and her visit with Mitch Landrieu will help support federal infrastructure investment throughout the region.

Flying ALIA with Bristow

Bryan Willows, an accomplished pilot, former U.S. Marine, and Bristow’s Program Manager for Advanced Air Mobility, flies ALIA in the first-ever qualitative evaluation flight conducted by a customer.

ALIA Flies to Canada

ALIA crosses the international border to, fly into its office at YUL airport, becoming the first all-electric aircraft to land in Montreal.
BETA Final Assembly and Production Facility

Final Assembly and Production Facility Opens

BETA opens the doors to its 188,500 sq. ft Final Assembly and Production facility. This facility, which is net-zero in design, is where the company’s electric aircraft will be assembled and produced. With capacity to produce up to 300 aircraft per year, this is the first scaled manufacturing facility for electric aircraft in the United States.
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ALIA Flies Through D.C.

ALIA completes the first flight of an electric aircraft into Joint Base Andrews (ADW), which included operations inside the heavily restricted Washington, D.C. Flight Restricted Zone (FRZ).
Delivering ALIA to the Air Force

Aircraft Delivery to the Air Force

Following a 1,700 nautical mile, multi-leg mission from Burlington, Vermont to Eglin, Florida, BETA delivered its ALIA CTOL to the 413th Test Squadron of the U.S. Air Force, where the aircraft is deployed for experimentation and training.

BETA x Archer Industry Alignment on Charging Infrastructure

On November 7, BETA and Archer announced a first-of-its-kind collaboration to accelerate adoption of interoperable charging infrastructure, which will see Archer utilize BETA charging systems.

BETA receives support from the Export-Import Bank of the U.S

The EXIM Bank granted BETA a $169 million loan as one of the first companies authorized to receive a Make More in America grant. This support will be used to finance our manufacturing facility, and the hundreds of well-paying, clean manufacturing jobs over the coming years.

Air New Zealand Announces BETA’s ALIA as Launch Aircraft

Air New Zealand selects BETA’s ALIA CTOL as the launch aircraft for its Mission Next Gen Aircraft program. The electric aircraft has been purchased to meet the airline’s goal of flying a commercial demonstrator by 2026.

2024

Climb the biggest mountain you can find.

Lochie Ferrier ❤️
ALIA SN002 lands at the Burlington International Airport in South Burlington, Vermont.

ALIA Heads Back Home

ALIA departs from Duke Field following our historic deployment with the Department of Defense, where we completed three months of operational experimentation and training with the 413th Flight Test Squadron through the Air Force’s Agility Prime program.

ALIA Flies with the Air National Guard

ALIA participates in a week-long Agile Combat Employment scenario at the Savannah Air Dominance Center in Georgia hosted by the Air National Guard. Invited by the guard, BETA operated alongside 350 airmen and women integrating seamlessly into operations, executing key resource transport, casualty evacuation simulations, and tactical resupply missions.
ALIA visits Bristow

ALIA visits Bristow

ALIA stopped over at Bristow’s Base of Operations in Houma, LA during our return trip from Duke. While there, we completed an in-context flight to demo the aircraft’s capabilities for our Bristow partners, their customers, and other local stakeholders.
ALIA flying alongside Manhattan

Hello New York City

ALIA flew through the New York City Hudson Corridor, operating in the scenic airspace between JFK and LGA, visiting the Statue of Liberty. This marked the first time an electric aircraft has flown the iconic corridor.

“Just simple enough to be revolutionary”